Is there a place for measuring serum calcitonin prior to thyroidectomy in patients with a non-diagnostic thyroid nodule biopsy?

Diego Henrique Andrade de Oliveira Luiz Pierre Huning Mariana Comiran Belim Patrick Fontes Rodrigues Hildebrando Massahiro Nagai Hans Graf About the authors



To verify the cytopathological Bethesda System classification of thyroid nodule fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) in MTC patients and to assess the role of preoperative serum calcitonin (CT) levels in the investigation of this neoplasm in medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) patients under observation at the Uopeccan (União Oeste Paranaense de Estudos e Combate ao Câncer).

Materials and methods:

This is a cross-sectional review of medical records of patients monitored at the thyroid cancer outpatient clinic of Uopeccan. Clinical and demographic data, laboratory tests, ultrasound images, and cytopathological findings of MTC patients were evaluated.

Results and discussion:

Among the 360 patients with thyroid cancer monitored in the outpatient clinic, 5.2% (n: 19/360) had MTC. The hereditary form was more prevalent (63.2%), and there was no sex preference. The most common ultrasound findings were hypoechogenicity, solid appearance and microcalcifications. The FNAB diagnoses showed a sensitivity of 47.1%, and the most common cytopathological report was Bethesda category III. Serum CT levels showed good sensitivity (84.6%) for the diagnosis of MTC, and sensitivity levels were directly associated with the size of the nodule and distant metastases.


Bethesda category III was more prevalent in this group of MTC patients. Serum CT levels were more sensitive than cytopathology for diagnosis of this neoplasm and were able to identify all patients who could not be diagnosed by FNAB.

Medullary thyroid cancer; fine-needle aspiration biopsy; calcitonin

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